Google to enforce clear in-app purchase policies in Android 12

Google has announced to update its Google Play billing policies to clarify which kinds of transactions will be subject to Googles commissions on in-app purchases.

The tech giant also said that it will be making changes in Android 12 to make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place.

“We’ve always required developers who distribute their apps on Play to use Google Play’s billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods, and pay a service fee from a percentage of the purchase,” said Sameer Samat, Vice President, Product Management.

This policy is only applicable to less than 3 per cent of developers with apps on Google Play.

“We only collect a service fee if the developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, and we think that is fair,” Samat said in a statement on Monday.

Android has always allowed people to get apps from multiple app stores.

“This is why Fortnite, for example, is available directly from Epic’s store or from other app stores including Samsung’s Galaxy App store,” Samat said.

Like Apple, Google also collects a 30 per cent commission on in-app purchases.

For developers, Google Play’s billing system provides an easy way for billions of Android users to transact with them using their local, preferred method of payment.

“Less than 3 per cent of developers with apps on Play sold digital goods over the last 12 months, and of this 3 per cent, the vast majority (nearly 97 per cent) already use Google Play’s billing,” Google informed.

Those who already have an app on Google Play that requires technical work to integrate Google billing system, “we do not want to unduly disrupt their roadmaps and are giving a year (until September 30, 2021) to complete any needed updates”.

“We will require Google’s apps that do not already use Google Play’s billing system to make the necessary updates as well”.